So, as the title suggests, I have found
temporary planner peace and I couldn’t be happier.
In my last blog post I showed my Recollections spiral planner and the Cherry Limeade planner sticker kit that I used to decorate it. That kit is available as a free printable here on the blog, if you’re interested.
At that time my plan was to use that planner as my main planner, the one that I carried with me and referenced all day but I also had the bullet journal I started back in January and the personal sized Recollections Creative Year binder from last year that I carry around with me everyday. The Recollection spiral planner lives in my school bag, the bullet journal in my purse and the Creative Year binder just floats in whatever I’m carrying. So I found myself rolling 3 planners deep, all day, every day, and still not getting anything done.
This created a problem for me. I love my planners, obviously, obsessively, but if I’m not actually being organized/getting things done/getting places on time/remembering appointments/benefiting from having them are they really worth it?
I had to stop and take stock of what I was doing and why and come up with a more beneficial system of planning if I was going to allow myself to keep investing time, effort and especially money into planning.
And from there my new system was born.
I decided to implement my new system at the start of the new month so I could have 30 days to do it regularly so I could make it a habit before August comes and my life is not my own anymore (#lastyearoflawschool #goodbyesleep).
Here’s how it works:
My Recollections spiral planner is my pre-planning planner. Saturday night I sit down with everything I have to do for the next week, all the appointments, all the tasks, all the chores and all the recurring activities and fill them in where they go or where I want them to go. Like this week I have to turn in some paperwork on Monday, rent is due Wednesday, Thursday I want to drive to my Aunt’s house, Friday I want to clean my bedroom and bathroom, Saturday I plan to plan and Sunday is for cleaning the kitchen and meal prep. I put the blog posts I want to post and checklists for my top 6 tasks of each day. The goal is, Saturday night, when I’m done pre-planning I have a complete idea of what I WANT my week to look like, what I WANT to do and WANT to accomplish. It’s my “pipe dream” plan.
Then, in my Creative Year binder, I have my Creative Blerd Paperie Week on 2 Page personal sized inserts. Similarly to my main planner, I pre-plan on Saturday, everything that is nailed down goes in the inserts. That’s stuff like bills, appointments, holidays, things that are outside of my control so I have to do them. I also put a checklist on everyday, but unlike in my main planner, this checklist is empty. Every day I fill in this checklist with the things that need to be done that day, things I’m rolling over from the day before, things that popped up that day, either way, this is a snapshot of my day, from above, giving me a fresh perspective on my day, with respect to the day before and taking into account the needs of the current day.
Finally, I have my bullet journal. Being that it is the smallest and most mobile of my planners it lives in my purse and I have it for constant updating. It’s a real time look at my day, as the day I happening. I tried in the past to use the bullet journal how I use the main planner but I would forget to check it everyday, even though I was carrying it everyday. Or, I wouldn’t even set it up for the week and go in blond trying to remember everything. In my current system, I set up my bullet journal for an entire month at a time. The last week on June I did my July set up, one spread a day until it was all done. That way you don’t get burnt out drawing lines and making spreads and it all gets done before you need it so there’s no rushing or forgetting. The bullet journal is excessively real-time, only the things that I actually do go into in. There’s, for example, time trackers each day. I fill in when I wake up, when I eat meals, when I’m at an appointment or working around the house. The most important part though, is that I only put in my day the things I did that day. If my main planner says send PR kit, and my inserts say send PR kit, but I don’t send the PR kit, then “send PR kit” is not in the bullet journal, simple as that. It requires me to take stock of my day, what I get done and what I don’t, while keeping me honest about how I use my time. The bullet journal is also where I keep my detailed habit trackers. I have habits in the sidebar of my main planner but those are a focus for that week, not the activities I’m trying to make life-long habits, like taking my vitamins and cleaning the house every night. By having my habit trackers in the planner I have to look at constantly, I’m reminding myself what my habit are and forcing myself to acknowledge when I miss one. It’s a lot more effective, for me, than a monthly, or yearly habit tracker tucked off in the front of the journal somewhere where I can ignore it.
So, that’s my system, constantly reinforcing the plans in a style that goes from idealized to actualized.
Like I said, I have present planner peace and I’m gonna hold on to it as long as I can. I’ll let you know if things change.
What about you? Have you found planner peace? Still searching? Let me know how you use your planner or planners.
By the way, the planner sticker kit I used in my Recollections Spiral Planner and my personal planner is from my shop, Creative Blerd Paperie. It’s the Independence Day full kit that has enough stickers for me to use across two spreads. If you want to get your hands on it, or any of my stickers or planner products, head to my shop Creative Blerd Paperie.